Active Duty Marine looking for Advice

Good Afternoon all!

So the story is a long one. I am a 31 year old current Marine with 4 years of service so far who has suddenly come up with a series of pretty horrible health issues after 4 years of being in pretty awesome and flawless shape. High blood pressure, pretty severe heart palpitations, etc etc…Episode started almost a year ago now with a seizure and I experienced no issues again until 4 months ago when I lost all of the feeling in my arms and legs and sight in one eye(It’s all back now, but took months to get my strength back and I am still pretty shaky). It was at that time I noticed that my heart was horribly off rhythm and I am SURE that is what caused the first seizure and the aforementioned episode. The first thing we found in the hospital was that my blood pressure was just far to high despite a very good diet, about 170/120 being a resting blood pressure before being medicated and after medications I run 190/110-120 during a brief run(Whereas I used to be able to pull 8-10 miles as a warmup before work!). After way to many tests regarding bloodwork, echos, the whole shabang came back saying I was in perfect health I had to try to figure out what was going on, they kept pumping me full of meds to regulate my BP and heart but I don’t want to attack symptoms, I want to actually be fixed. Our medical coverage being what it is you will definitely be crippled or die if you just kind of let them do what they want with a big issue.

I meditated on things for a while and finally came to my current conclusion, I frequently wakeup during the night(always did but never thought anything of it) and feel delirious and wore out all the time. I had always choked it up to the hours and stress of the job until now. Sometimes I wakeup and it is plain as day that I am not breathing, tingling lips and bloodshot eyes, even to the extent that my hands and feet are cold and numb. My eyesight has quickly deteriorated(I am convinced it is due to the blood pressure) as well which has really set me for a downhill roll seeing as how I start college soon(online). I was sent to a one night sleep study and all came back “good” except for a ton of PVCs(Think heart palpitation) which are always very bad at night, sometimes even waking me up. I wasn’t taking that, one good night doesn’t mean anything because I had already noticed that some nights I wakeup feeling ok and alot of nights I feel like a band of midgets busted into my room in my sleep and beat me near to death. So I went out and bought my own Sp02 monitor…

And things started to surface that I had suspected. Ill go sometimes for 3 or 4 days with good oxygen levels and heartrate then get slammed with a few days(Without doing anything different that day) where it says I had several drops. Those are the days I feel like crap. They don’t give a crap about us and never did. I have been ripping medicals teeth out to try to get a good study done, they always go for the lowest bidder and cheapest solution, even threw heart surgery onto the dang table before a longer sleep study, that is Military healthcare for you…I just want to get fixed, there are alot of guys here fighting the same battle.

This is a link to images of my Spo2 levels and heartrate at night I saved. The ring talks to my phone via bluetooth, we tested it against the hospitals equipment and it is dead on. I have to prove I have something going on ASAP. Any help, advice, or input is a literal lifesaver.

Hello MC Nerd,

There was 27 separate files under that link with a couple dozen screen shots in each, lots of duplicates. But here is what I can gather from looking at a bunch of them: Your resting heart rate range is consistently in the 50’s. On those nights your average 02 Sat looks great. There are a few nights when your resting heart rate is higher and there are corresponding dips in your 02 Sat. Particularly:
Nov. 27: Avg. HR=77, Lowest 02 sat=88%
Dec. 19: Avg. HR=85, Lowest 02 Sat=89%
While an 02 Sat of 88-89% is well below acceptable range, it doesn’t look like it was sustained over a significant amount of time.
Questions to ask- Why was your HR consistently faster on those nights? What, if anything did you do different on those evenings? (I rarely drink alcohol, but one glass of wine and if I go to bed before it has ‘worn off’, my HR is noticeably faster) With that said, you would think alcohol would ‘wear off’ after a few hours…
What I do know is this whole sleep apnea thing is not an exact science. It took 5 years, 3 overnight sleep studies, countless setting changes and 3 different machines to get my sleep apnea under control. And I had NO symptoms to start with…they discovered it during a hospital stay when I had some major surgery…my 02 Sat kept dropping when I fell asleep; they sent me home with “you should think about having sleep study…” that was it. (I spent 20 yrs working at a University Hospital as a nurse; 10+ years in cardiac)
If I were you, I would push for wearing a monitor to check your heart rhythm over an extended period of time so they can spot any heart arrhythmia you may have. They don’t get real excited over PVC’s, but PVC’s are a sign of something, they are not 100% normal. I WOULD be very concerned about the high blood pressure, though, you don’t want to mess with that. High blood pressure does not discriminate… it’s not just for old fat people. Young people can have it too. Think kidneys and thyroid; adrenal glands in the kidneys can secrete too much hormone that increases blood pressure; same with your thyroid-too much thyroid hormone can mess with your heart rate/rhythm. If those two things check out ok, then you get a prescription for BP meds for the rest of your life, if they can’t figure out what is causing your high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure for high blood pressure… seems a bottle of pills is all they’ve got, but you DON’T want to go untreated ESPECIALLY in the meantime while they get this figured out. All I can say is keep persistently advocating for yourself until they do something…the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Let me know if and when you figure this out. It’s quite the puzzle. Puzzles CAN be solved but it takes persistence.
And thank you for your service, (my daughter is active Navy, my dad was a Marine in WW2)